by Sayyid M. Syeed
The Shia Muslim Council, along with its partners, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, CAIR, MPAC and Bayan Claremont presented a unique symposium to discuss Sunni and Shia relations. Held at the University of California in Irvine, the symposium was attended by more than 250 community members, students, and leaders in order to understand the prospects and challenges facing unity amongst Sunni and Shia Muslims in the West and across the globe.
The objective of the symposium was very clear: to bring together scholars and leaders to promote understanding between Sunni and Shia Muslims by sharing historical, theological, legal, and other similarities and differences between these communities. With this understanding, the Muslim community can work towards institutionalizing dialogue that is sustainable and relevant to Muslims in North America. Among the panel of academic speakers were: Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed (ISNA), Dr. Liyakat Takim (McMaster University), Dr. Najeeba Syeed (Claremont School of Theology) and Dr. Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini (Shia Muslim Council). The event was moderated by Dr. Hasnain Walji (United Global Initiative) and Dr. Sana Tayyen (University of Redlands).